In February, I made a vow: That NNS would “proceed until apprehended.”
And we have.
Our tiny newsroom, which has no full-time staff, has labored to distinguish itself from other media outlets by placing an emphasis on the following words: Milwaukee. Neighborhoods. News. And, most important, service.
What you read daily comes to you free of charge, but our quality journalism takes money. Many of you tell us how much you look forward to our stories, videos and photos.
While I appreciate your sentiments, I need to issue a call to action: If you love us, don’t just say it, PAY it.
Please consider making a donation to NNS between now and Dec. 31. During that time period, NewsMatch will match your new monthly donation — each month for 12 months — or double your one-time gift, all up to $1,000. If we can get 100 new donors during the campaign, we will be eligible for a bonus.
Up to $20,000 in contributions will be matched, which means Milwaukee Neighborhood News Service can raise $40,000 in total. As an organization with a relatively small budget, these funds are crucial to us.
NNS has been telling the stories of Central City residents working hard to improve the quality of life for themselves and their neighbors for more than eight years. We need your donation so that we can continue to tell the stories of ordinary people who regularly do extraordinary things.
Sermon over (but I reserve the right to come back to the pulpit).
Here are some things happening in our newsroom:
We say goodbye to friends: Staff Writer Allison Dikanovic has moved to New York City to pursue a graduate degree in the Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism at the City University of New York. She is studying social journalism in a special program that looks to reimagine how we can make journalism more of a public service to real people and less of a product for corporations to sell. (Don’t despair, we have one more big project from her coming.) In addition, longtime Senior Staff Writer Andrea Waxman retired last month. Get this. She wants to spend time with her husband (traveling!) and work on other passion projects. We are grateful for this dynamic duo and their tireless work to inform the communities we serve.
We welcome new staffers: I will formally introduce them in another column, but we are happy to bring on three new members to our part-time staff. Sam Woods comes to us from the Bridge the City podcast and will be focusing on education, youth justice, housing and transit. A graduate of Public Allies Milwaukee, Sam worked for Ex Fabula and served as civic engagement director for City Year Milwaukee. Claudia Delgadillo graduated in May from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, where she majored in journalism. An advanced Spanish speaker, Claudia has interned at WISN (Channel 12) and WUWM 89/7 FM-Milwaukee’s NPR. She will focus on entrepreneurship, culture and health. Longtime resident and entrepreneur Damia Causey will be writing a jobs/career column for NNS that showcases people who are doing great things and gives readers the scoop on job fairs and career-readiness resources.
We are blue and gold: Careful readers of NNS may have noticed we changed our color scheme a few weeks ago. This is to better align with the branding of Marquette University, our publisher. Though MU has no role in our editorial content or decision-making, the university gives NNS a great deal of in-kind support, including paying my salary as an instructor in the Diederich College of Communication. This is just the first step in a web refresh. We will keep you posted.
A huge honor: Founding editor Sharon McGowan was inducted into the Milwaukee Press Club Hall of Fame earlier this month for her tireless work in creating NNS.
A win for Wayno: Deputy Editor Dwayne Burtin was selected for the prestigious 2019 Leadership Academy for Diversity in Digital Media, a partnership between the Poynter Institute and The Washington Post. The academy recognizes pioneers in the field of digital media from traditionally underrepresented backgrounds who have demonstrated an aptitude for leadership.
Still geeked over Google grant: NNS is one of 34 news organizations in North America to win support from the Google News Initiative Innovation Challenge. The $234,000 grant will allow us to collaborate with two other nonprofit newsrooms in a special project to learn what residents want to read and then to send those reports to their phones via text messaging.
We’re going to proceed until apprehended—and dare you to catch us. Have a great week.